|Countries recognizing the Republic of Kosovo in green, highlighting recent additions. Disputed recognitions in yellow. Kosovo in magenta. Map by Evan Centanni, modified from public domain graphic (source).|
Country Name: |
• Kosovo (English, Serbian)
• Kosova (Albanian)
• Republic of Kosovo (English)
• Republika e Kosovës (Albanian)
• Republika Kosovo (Serbian)
Kosovo Recognition Continues Growing
Over the last six months, three new countries have extended diplomatic recognition to the self-proclaimed Republic of Kosovo. The breakaway state, located in the Balkan Region of Southeastern Europe, is now recognized by at least 106 U.N. member nations (about 55%). Kosovo's government claims recognition from 107 U.N. members, but one of these has been called into question (see “Disputed Recognitions” below).
The three new states which have recognized Kosovo are Tonga, in January; Lesotho, in February; and Togo, on July 2nd. Tonga is a Pacific Island state, Togo is a small country located in West Africa, and Lesotho is an enclave surrounded by South Africa. None of these countries' governments appear to have confirmed their recognitions, with the information coming only from Kosovo's foreign ministry. However, so far none of them has disputed Kosovo’s claims.
The Republic of Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, but has been blocked from U.N. membership by objections from Serbia, Russia, and other countries who see its secession as invalid. In addition to the 106 U.N. members recognizing Kosovo, its independence is also acknowledged by non-U.N. member Taiwan. For more on Kosovo's special situation, see our first Kosovo recognition report, which also includes a map of Kosovo's location relative to Serbia.
The African Island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe announced its recognition of Kosovo on March 13, 2012. However, on January 7, 2013, the President of the small country declared the recognition invalid on the grounds that he had not been informed of the decision. Despite this, Kosovo still maintains that the recognition is valid. Political Geography Now has chosen not to include São Tomé and Príncipe in its tallies of recognition until the dispute has been resolved.
In addition to this, Kosovo has previously claimed that two other African countries, Nigeria and Uganda, recognized its independence. However, Nigeria clearly stated in March that it did not recognize the breakaway state, and Kosovo's foreign ministry recently included Uganda in a discussion of nations that “have not yet recognized Kosovo”, also indicating that there are only 107 U.N. members currently recognizing the country. Despite this, the ministry's website has still not dropped Nigeria and Uganda from its list of “Countries that have recognized the Republic of Kosova”.
Kosovo Recognition Map Update: October 2013
North Kosovo Status Changing After Serbia Deal
Who Recognizes Palestine in 2013?
Flag graphic by Cradel (source). License: CC BY-SA